Federal investments across southern Alberta support opportunities for growth and a prosperous economic future


PrairiesCan funding of over $11.2 million for 18 projects in Lethbridge and surrounding communities is provided through several PrairiesCan programs, including the Community Economic Development and Diversification (CEDD) program, the Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) program, the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF), and the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF). These investments are expected to support 230 jobs.

The combined $11,254,654 investment in the Lethbridge region provides more opportunities for growth and a prosperous economic future.

Community Economic Development and Diversification

The CEDD program supports economic development initiatives that contribute to the economic growth and diversification of communities across the Prairie provinces. Through this program, PrairiesCan enables communities to leverage their capacity and strengths to respond to economic development opportunities and adjust to changing and challenging economic circumstances. Today, PrairiesCan announced the following CEDD-funded project:

  • SouthGrow Regional Initiative – ($102,000) Implement an opportunity for a supply- chain identification project to support manufacturing and agri-food processing for small- and medium-sized businesses in south central Alberta. 

Regional Innovation Ecosystems

The RIE program stream aims to create, grow and nurture inclusive regional ecosystems that support business needs throughout the innovation continuum, and foster an entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation, growth and competitiveness. Today, PrairiesCan announced the following five RIE-funded projects for $4,778,150:

  • Alberta Sugar Beet Growers Association – ($242,838) Evaluate new market opportunities to grow the Alberta sugar beet industry.
  • Lethbridge College – ($2,092,012) Establish an agriculture innovation centre to scale ag-tech and agri-food small- and medium-sized businesses in Alberta.
  • St. Mary River Irrigation District – ($85,000) Develop and pilot a water stewardship plan for an integrated southern Alberta potato value-chain.
  • University of Lethbridge – ($868,300) Establish a work integrated learning centre in Southern Alberta for Indigenous youth.
  • University of Lethbridge – ($1,495,000) Establish a centre of expertise to develop commercial applications for health management and monitoring

Tourism Relief Program

As part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the TRF supports tourism businesses and organizations to adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate their future growth. This fund is helping position Canada as a destination of choice as domestic and international travel rebounds. Today, PrairiesCan announced the following four TRF funded projects for $4,378,610:

  • Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation – ($500,000) Build an environmental learning facility to host visitor programming and visitor experiences.
  • Lethbridge & District Exhibition – ($3,513,611) Install audio-visual equipment to provide state of the art digitization of the Lethbridge Agri-Food and Trade Centre.
  • Little Gem Winery Ltd. – ($99,999) Expand culinary and agri-tourism offerings in southwestern Alberta.
  • Tourism Lethbridge – ($265,000) Develop agri-food tourism strategy and driving tours for Lethbridge region.

Canada Community Revitalization Fund

As part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the CCRF helps communities across Canada build and improve community infrastructure projects so they can continue to rebound from the pandemic. With a national investment of $500 million over two years, the Fund’s purpose is to help not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, and other community groups, as well as Indigenous communities build new community infrastructure and revitalize existing assets, bring people to public spaces, create jobs, and stimulate local economies. Today, PrairiesCan announced the following eight CCRF funded projects for $2,841,394:

  • Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge – ($94,500) Revitalize the Casa Community Arts Centre Rotary Square in downtown Lethbridge, to provide shade to increase summer programming space.
  • Galt Museum – ($75,000) Re-purpose an under-utilized space to create "Lethbridge Onscreen," an outdoor audio/visual interpretive display to showcase local artwork and cultural exhibitions.
  • Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Separate School Division – ($69,413) Build an outdoor basketball court on St. Michael's school yard for the use of students, community residents and visitors.
  • Interfaith Food Bank Society of Lethbridge – ($112,642) Expand the community garden by improving accessibility and creating an outdoor patio.
  • Town of Coaldale – ($750,000) Construct an outdoor public plaza in downtown Coaldale to serve as a central community-gathering place for festivals, events and farmers markets.
  • Town of Coalhurst – ($269,068) Construct new pathways in Coalhurst to give residents safe spaces to walk, ride bikes and provide better access to the outdoors and nature.
  • Town of Picture Butte – ($206,532) Beautify the downtown core by creating safe spaces for residents and visitors to explore and shop at local businesses.
  • Town of Taber – ($413,739) Enhance downtown and re-engage the community with expanded sidewalks, adding murals by local artists and colorful banners.

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Kyle Allen
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Rohit Sandhu
Communications Manager
Prairies Economic Development Canada

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